Supposed links between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein were one of the main justifications for the Iraq War. Dick Cheney in particular continued to point to those links long after they had been debunked by both the 9/11 Commission and the Pentagon.
That's bad enough. But now McClatchy is reporting that the search for proof of such links was one of the major motivations for the torture of "high value" detainees.
Let that sink in for a minute. Techniques used by Communist regimes to extract false confessions were deployed by American interrogators searching for evidence of a conspiracy that didn't actually exist. The Bush regime sacrificed the rule of law and 200 years of hard-earned American moral authority in order to achieve their own political goals.
(And incidentally, that last link is truly scary stuff. Katrina-level incompetence applied to interrogation policy.)